A Little Guide to Pin Making
I hope everyone’s having an awesome start to their weekends and is enjoying the holidays! This month’s blog post is a little guide to Pin Making. Every so often, I get emails and direct messages on Instagram with a ton of questions about becoming a pin designer and starting your own business. And I thought I would share some important tips and tricks on starting your adventures in the wonderful world of pin making! Today’s post is going to teach some important terms every designer should know.
Tech Pack: A tech pack is a blueprint/art file for a pin or any other type of product. It provides crucial information to your factory. A tech pack will provide; artwork, pin sizing, Pantone colors, the etching or moulded logo information on the back of the pin, what color and type of backing you will be using and if it’s going to be packaged for you, packaging placement. It should also address the thickness of the pin (I request 2mm thickness).
Mould: A mould is essentially what a factory makes of the outline of your artwork. They then use that mould for your pin production. Every factory will charge a One-time Mould fee per design. They typically keep a mould for 3-5 years if you don’t use or reorder frequently. Every time you submit a new design, it will require a mould. And if during the sampling process, you decide to make a change to your artwork that will require the mould to change, they will more than likely charge another mould fee. Mould fees can range anywhere from $50-$100 depending on your design.
Soft Enamel Vs. Hard Enamel: These are both types of pins. If you have a Lulu Bloo pin handy, take it out and hold it in your hand. Do you feel that smooth finish? That’s hard enamel! I personally prefer to have all my pins made as hard enamel because of the finished result and quality. The difference between hard and soft enamel pins is the curing process. Soft enamel pins, the colored enamel tends to appear sunken in while Hard Enamel pins are polished and smooth. Sometimes, it can be a preference for a designer, and sometimes it can be a requirement for the type of design they have. For example, If you want a pin to have a colored outline (that’s not gold, black or silver) this will require the pin to be made as soft enamel. Same applies to “rainbow metal” pins. Rainbow metal is also known as anodized metal. This type of pin will also require the pin the be soft enamel. Now if you don’t want that “sunken” in recessed enamel look, you can also request a clear epoxy fill. This will give the pin a shiny filled appearance.
MOQ: MOQ stands for “Minimum Order Quantity”. This is how many pins or product a factory requires when placing an order per design. Most factories generally require a 100 piece MOQ. This means if you submit 3 designs to produce, then you will have to order a minimum of 100 pieces of each design.
Laser Etching or Sand Blasting vs Raised Logo: Whenever you produce a product, you should always have the country of origin provided as well as your brand or artist signature or logo. And you have a few options to choose from. The cheaper option is to have the information on the back through process of Laser Etching or Sand blasting. Raised Logos will usually require a Mould fee. If you do a raised logo; each pin design will require two mould fees essentially. One for the actual pin and one for the raised artwork in the back.
Brass vs Alloy: There’s two types of metals a pin could be made from. Brass pins tend to feel heavier when you hold them. They’re generally used when there aren’t cut outs required. Alloy metal is pliable and easier to cut. It' also feels lighter when you hold it. Typically pins with cutouts or intricate cutting silhouettes are made of alloy. I personally like all my pins to be made of brass unless alloy is required because of the design. I like how heavy the pin feels, and overall just has a better feel of quality to me.
Private Label: Let’s say you have no idea how to make a tech pack. Or that you don’t have access to a Pantone book. And you have all these great ideas, but don’t have a background in production or design. That’s where artists and companies such as myself come in handy! We provide a Private Label service! And you can customize your private label service to suit your needs. Whether you just need a tech pack, or if you need a full service plan from designing, to sampling and to production. Private label is a great way to start without having to worry about quality control, factory sourcing or designing. If you’d like more information about private label services, contact Lulu Bloo here
These are just a few terms and information that will help you with the start of your pin making journey. I’ll be sharing more information and going in depth into the production and sampling process soon! So stay tuned!